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VOTE FOR YOUR PARKS! Read Highlights from the 2009 At-Large City Council Candidates Debate on Parks and Open Spaces

2009 At-Large City Council Debate on Parks and Open Spaces
Overall, the at-large city council candidates showed us they understand a range of issues. The laugh of the night came with the audience question, "What does the Asian Long Horned Beetle mean to you? ?Stumped, Felix Arroyo answered, "Well if it has horns, it must not be good."
Great ideas we heard included:

  • • Incumbent Steve Murphy talked about creating a dedicated funding stream for parks, and expressed his belief that the city can safely take on capital park projects.
  • • John Connolly issued the boldest statement, drawing applause from the crowd, saying he would eliminate parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. He also said parks were at the nexus of many important issues involving education, public safety and quality of life.
  • • Ayanna Pressley proposed to survey residents to learn what park programs they would like to see, to increase concessions in parks to raise funds, and that event organizers should pay for impact to parkland.
  • • Felix Arroyo discussed his concerns and actions as a youth sports coach in keeping the fields clean and safe, and supports using technology in permitting and publishing schedules for athletic fields.
  • • Tomas Gonzalez, also a youth coach, wants to see programming for seniors, and supports the use technology and old-fashioned ways to post maintenance schedules to improve communication between park managers and park users.
  • • Tito Jackson noted vacant lots along Blue Hill Avenue that can be used as community gardens to increase access to healthy food. He also reflected on the need to ensure that parks are for everyone - newcomers, youth and longtime community residents.
  • • Andrew Kenneally insisted on master plans for parks and and a connected network of bike lanes. He also stressed park managers need to look at the whole park, including structures and benches, as they maintain parks.
  • • Doug Bennett answered a question posed by BOLD Teens from Dorchester, stating his intention to get more bike racks in parks, and also enthusiastically supported using technology.


Boston Park Advocates is a growing network that represents neighborhood, city and state park friends groups; bike groups; community gardens and garden clubs; urban wild and greenway councils; youth groups; sports leagues; environmental groups, neighborhood associations; arts organizations; health centers; and community development corporations.
1. 02136 - All Things Hyde Park
2. African Repertory Troupe
3. AIR, Inc. (Airport Impact Relief)
4. Allston Brighton CDC
5. Allston Brighton North Neighbors Forum
6. Arboretum Park Conservancy
7. Arborway Coalition
8. Arnold Arboretum
9. Beacon Hill Civic Association
10. Beacon Hill Garden Club
11. Bikes Not Bombs
12. Birds & Bards Festival
13. Boston Cares
14. Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness
15. Boston Gardeners Council
16. Boston Natural Areas Network
17. Boston Preservation Alliance
18. Boston Society of Architects
19. Boston Youth Environmental Network
20. Breath of Life: Dorchester (BOLD) Teens
21. B.U. Department of Environmental Health
22. Caribbean Carnival of Boston
23. Charles River Conservancy
24. Codman Square Health Center
25. Codman Square Health Council
26. Codman Square Neighborhood Council
27. Codman Square NDC
28. Discover Roxbury
29. Dorchester Beach Festival
30. Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition
31. Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
32. Dorchester Park Association
33. DotBike
34. Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
35. EarthWorks
36. East Boston Greenway Council
37. Egleston Square Main Street
38. Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park
39. Emerald Necklace Conservancy
40. ESAC (Ecumenical Social Action Comm.)
41. Evening Garden Club of West Roxbury
42. Franklin Park Coalition
43. Franklin Park Tennis Association
44. Friends of Alvah Kittredge Park
45. Friends of Belle Isle Marsh
46. Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands
47. Friends of Christopher Columbus Park
48. Friends of Egleston Square Library
49. Friends of Nira Rock
50. Friends of the Public Garden
51. Friends of Ringer Park
52. Friends of Ronan Park
53. Friends of Stony Brook Reservation
54. Friends of the Edward Everett Schoolyard
55. Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts
56. Greater Bowdoin/Geneva Neighborhood Assoc.
57. Haley Pilot School
58. Hawthorn Youth & Community Center
59. Hyde Square Task Force
60. Jamaica Pond Association
61. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots New England
62. Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association
63. JP Bikes
64. JP Regan Youth Baseball League
65. Livable Streets Alliance
66. Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center
67. MassBike and MassBike Boston Chapter
68. Mass League of Environmental Voters
69. Mattapan CDC
70. Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition
71. Mt. Pleasant Home for Elders
72. Neighborhood Pesticide Action Committee
73. Neponset Greenway Council
74. North End Water Front Residents Association
76. Paul Gore/Beecher Street Community Garden
77. People Making A Difference
78. Red Sun Press
79. Ringer Park Partnership
80. Roxbury Neighborhood Council
82. RozzieBikes
83. Shirley Eustis House
84. South Boston Grows
85. Southwest Boston CDC
86. Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy
87. Stonybrook Neighborhood Association
88. South End/Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust
89. The Esplanade Association
90. The Garden Club of Back Bay
91. The Ringer Park Partnership
92. The Trustees of Reservations
93. Tommy's Rock Neighborhood Association
94. United Neighbors of Lower Roxbury
95. Urban Edge
96. Urban Wilds Council
97. WalkBoston
98. YouthBuild Boston
99. Zoo New England